Are health educator job opportunities growing or declining?

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Are jobs in this industry on the rise? Are there any sub-sectors that are growing?

Where are the jobs? Which places have the most health educator opportunities?

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Dee Dee in Little Rock, Arkansas

87 months ago

It's me again, please excuse the typos, its late here.

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Marie in Selden, New York

76 months ago

DEE DEE, I feel your pain exactly.
I obtained an International MPH in 2001 - It was the start of my dream international career. Then due to political instability I came back to the US , got the Certified Health Education Specialist specification from the NCHEC and have been trying to get a good Health Educator job ever since. I keep running into positions that require nursing experience even though I qualify for management jobs.

I am now focusing my search at educational institutions such as universities, schools.

Dee Dee in Little Rock, Arkansas said: My experience in the last three years is that the health educator job have taken an unfortunate shift. This shift has been the new qualification of health education directors and other positions similar to require a nursing degree.

I have applied to enough jobs at this point that now require clinical nurses to head community and patient education programs. I am concerned that the several years that I spent in my career and academically, attaining a master's Degree specifically in the field of Public Health has been in vain.

This seems moreso for those management position..the very reason why many of us got our master's degree in the first place. It seems as though we have been pushed out of the way for consideration for the very discipline that was created for public health educators.

There is a theory to it all, but now it seems that nursing,and its' field and theories are now the one size fit all occupation to have when it comes to the helath education management, director, and education careers. Do I now really need to go back to school for a friggin nursing degree. Give me a break!

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Sherah in Peoria, Illinois

74 months ago

I agree with both of you. I only have my Bachelor's degree in health education and have also noticed the unfortunate shift that many health educator jobs are going to nurses. What gets me so angry is that nurses do not know about prevention. Their curriculum is treatment. Fortunately, I do work at a county health department that requires a health educator to have a bachelors in community health to have this job. That is the only major you can have, which is nice. Also, I know to be able to have your CHES, you have to have a bachelors in community health. This gives me some peace of mind. I think the places that are hiring nurses for OUR jobs are place like hospitals. They like the 2 for 1. This is frustrating to me. This is why we have so many unhealthy people in our country. The qualified individuals are not getting the jobs they rightfully deserve and public health needs to be taken more seriously!!!!

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Dee Dee in Little Rock, Arkansas

74 months ago

Absolutely! Unfortunately I work for the State Deparment of Helath now, and there is a push from our director to have more clinical people on board for our chronic disease programs. I am planning on attending the Sophe national confernce in San Diego this September? Check the website, as I think this needs to be addressed. I am really frustrated and feel like I am being pushed out of something that took blood, sweat, tears, money and eight years of my life!

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Sherah in Peoria, Illinois

74 months ago

I feel like nursing is trying to take over many of our jobs. When are people going to understand that nursing is the opposite of health education????

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Dee Dee in Little Rock, Arkansas

74 months ago

Yeah, but what can we do about this? I am planning to attend the SOPHE conference in September in San DIego. I am going to contact the conference planning people to see if this could be an open discussion or forum or something. What is your experience with this situation? I would like to know more. I feel your frustration on this.

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Marie in Selden, New York

74 months ago

Dee Dee and Shera,

The Nursing industry is trying to grow exponentially now since there is such a high market demand for those jobs. Many employers, knowing that there will be plenty of qualified nurses soon are doing what seems logical and trying to get that 2- for -one. Accept, Dee Dee , you are right, Health education is prevention and it is the opposite of medicine/doctors/nurses because they are curative. That is where the fight lies- The curative health industry is given more value than the preventive --> mostly because the results are more difficult to tabulate. Raising the issue at SOPHE is a start, I will take up the same battle with the NCHEC, but they already heavily advocate for health educators and I'm not sure what I can do, but I will start that conversation.

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Sherah in Peoria, Illinois

74 months ago

I would love to go to the SOPHE conference in September, but unfortunately do not get the support from where I work to go to conferences like that. We are only allowed to travel within the state. I think it would be excellent to make it a topic of conversation and I think everyone there would appreciate it. I know nursing is in a shortage, but the shortage is in for the treatment aspect, not in the preventative aspect so why are nurses taking our jobs and why do employers think they are better suited (if that is the case)? I think the CHES should be required like the RN is for a health educator. This would make it more of a speciality in that respect. And marie, you are right about how there is so much more emphasis on treatment. It's frustrating that we are just not realizing that prevention is the way to go, for the most part (on things like heart disease, diabetes, stroke, etc).

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Dee Dee in Little Rock, Arkansas

74 months ago

Sherah, good point. I can represent and ask questions for those like yourself that are not able to attend. It would be interesting to hear from other colleagueaus aroudn the nation about this topic to share our points of view. Let me know what you think. Keep in touch and I hope others will join this conversation before the conference as well.

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Dee Dee in Little Rock, Arkansas

74 months ago

I appreciate your response Marie. Please know that the contribution of nurses and clinical professionals are respected and appreciated. However, I think that this is systemic problem. Ironically, we need prevention in this case as well. Prevention appears to be a lesser priority often as it relates to resources. Perhaps the lack of immediate impact of prevention efforts are hard to prove and later on, even harder to evaluate. Marie, I appreciate your initiative and look forward to hearing what comes of your research. This brings me to a moment in time as a diabetes educator in Oakland California ( over 7 years ago) where I provide the required number of hours (at that time) needed to obtain my CDE. However, another very important requirement needed is that I had to be a nurse. Today the guidelines have changed, and the 2500 hours I had were lost (from a certification perspective). This left me with the feeling that all those hours of education were in vain, for the exception that some patients I taught improved in the daily management of their diabetes, i.e. weight loss, A1c's, etc. So here we are in 2008, where a person that has an MPH does not secure a position advertised for Director of Health Education programs for a major HMO. Note I didn't say "doesn't qualify". Unfortunatley, the person preferred has clinical expertise, not necessarily an MPH, or a CHES. I wonder what Dorothy Nyswander would have to say about this if she were alive today. Hmmm.... Could she be rolling over in her grave right now? I am not blaming anyone...yet. But I am asking for solutions, PREVENTION of premature death of Pubic Health career opportunities of professionals trained it this discipline. Informed dialogues with all parties involved would be another start. I guess I will get off my soap box now.

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Sherah in Peoria, Illinois

74 months ago

Yes I am sure Dorothy would not be happy about how things are going in health education right now! I will say though, that there is a lot more awareness than maybe there was 10 years ago. I work for the county government as a health educator as I mentioned before and it can be very frustrating at times. I feel no one outside of my job understands what I do or why it is important. I once had someone laugh at my career when a friend of mine was introducing us (and mentioning what I did)..she laughed, as if my job was a joke. People are not aware of how important prevention is, and if they are, they think it's simple- "oh just go tell so and so to lose 60 pounds..it's not too hard...go tell so and so to prevent heart disease..they'll figure it out" there is a HUGE disconnect in our society when it comes to how complex prevention is and how important public health is. I hope one day this will change.

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Dee Dee in Little Rock, Arkansas

74 months ago

I agree. I used to get very frustrated after being introduced to other 'professionals" because I automatically knew that I was going to have to explain what I do in more detail than others. ANd sometimes explain the importance of my career.

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amber in Houston, Texas

73 months ago

I agree with everyone on this post. Almost year ago I move to Houston Texas and i been look for a job ever since. It is now a year and some change and I am still looking. It seems even after getting masters level education you are unemployed. I look thru 2000 job posting on internet everyday. If I am lucky I find 3-4 job and RN or LVN or BSN is required. I am all out of ideas and need a job badly.

Please help if know of any job around my area.

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Dee Dee in Little Rock, Arkansas

73 months ago

Hey. Is there anyway you can post your resume? And have you check helatheducatorjobs.com?

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amber in Houston, Texas

73 months ago

Dee, thank for replying so soon. To answer your question, I have looked on healtheducatorjobs.com
Here's my resume:

<Edited by Host: resume removed>

Please do not post resumes in the forums.
If you would like to set up a profile please go here to log in
www.indeed.com/my/profile

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amber in Houston, Texas

73 months ago

Sorry for too many posts but this is the only way I could have submitted my resume.

Please help!

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Sherah in Peoria, Illinois

73 months ago

Amber-
So, you are a registered respiratory therapist?? Why not try to find a job doing that and during that time still look for health education jobs. Many hospitals will give you a sign on bonus (like $4,000) and the pay is pretty good. I also think when you get your CHES, that will help. I am taking my CHES this October and I hope I pass! This certification helps to get more jobs. You could also teach some classes at the Red Cross in the meantime (since you are certified to do so). A good friend of mine is an instructor at the Red Cross. She is not full-time, but still is able to make a living. Just some ideas.

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dee dee in Little Rock, Arkansas

73 months ago

I agree with Amber in this case. You are well qualified, and your resume speaks volumes. Are you willing to relocate? I know in this econoy it may b safe to stay still unless you want to and can afford to relocate shlould an opportunity comes available outside of your place of residence.

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Sherah in Peoria, Illinois

73 months ago

Do you mean me???

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amber in Houston, Texas

73 months ago

As far as Registered RT, I have not practiced it for 8 yrs. That won't work. Red cross seems like a good idea. Thank You.

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amber in Houston, Texas

73 months ago

Sherah in Peoria, Illinois said: Amber-
So, you are a registered respiratory therapist?? Why not try to find a job doing that and during that time still look for health education jobs. Many hospitals will give you a sign on bonus (like $4,000) and the pay is pretty good. I also think when you get your CHES, that will help. I am taking my CHES this October and I hope I pass! This certification helps to get more jobs. You could also teach some classes at the Red Cross in the meantime (since you are certified to do so). A good friend of mine is an instructor at the Red Cross. She is not full-time, but still is able to make a living. Just some ideas.

Good with you CHES exam.

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Sherah in Peoria, Illinois

73 months ago

I think it would be good to start with the Red Cross, then continue to apply for health education jobs. Also, being open to moving is a good idea too. There are plenty of jobs, but they are scattered all over the country.

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amber in Houston, Texas

73 months ago

amber in Houston, Texas said: Good with you CHES exam.

I mean good luck with your CHES exam.

DO you think CHES can make a difference? I haven't seen any jobs out there.

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amber in Houston, Texas

73 months ago

Moving is not an option because my husbad has to be here for his job. I had applied for many job, but I don't ever hear back from them.

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Sherah in Peoria, Illinois

73 months ago

yes, many jobs I have seen require or prefer the CHES certification. Websites I look at are: public health employment connection (through Emory University)..I look at this website everyday. Also the American Public Health Association website has jobs on there too.

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Janice Bailiff in Forney, Texas

71 months ago

I recently moved to TX from NC. I have always found non-profits very friendly to health educators. However, the pay always seems to be far below what most of us find sufficient and the job responsibilities require lots of travel and time away from family.

I echo the sentiments from all, re: the seemingly required nursing license. I have a bachlors in Biology, a masters is Health Education and am a Certified Health Education Specialist. Just the other day I found a job opening for a school district. They are looking for a Health Services Specialist. This person is responsible for almost every compentency area outlined in the CHES guidelines; is required to travel to head start and early head start programs in two counties; present health information/resources at school district events(mainly evening events such as open house, parent night,PTO meetings, etc.) and do home visits when necessary. The annual salary range for the job is 30 - 35K! The minimum requirement is a GED! I was very insulted, yet find myself applying for the position. I too, need work and I'd like to work in a position where I am actually practicing the skills I learned. My hope is that I'll be able to advance the cause of health educators and make the case for an increased salary during the interview.

I am currently substituting for my local school district as I search for a permanent posotion. I've also found positions in the Community Education/Marketing divisions of hospitals.

By the way, I am an Army wife, so I have all but lost my hope of ever obtaining anything more than a mid-level position. Moving from state to state every 3 years has made it difficult for me. I am heavily considering consulting - some of which I can do from just about any location. Any suggestions on how to get started?

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Sherah in Peoria, Illinois

71 months ago

Hi Janice!
That makes me so sad that the position for which you are qualified pays so little and only required a GED!!! It's disgusting, really. I think some employers think any joe shmo could do our job- please! I write grants, give presentations on tons of topics (and also do assembly's) and have to run committees, among other things.

I think you might find luck at health departments. That is where I work. They will ONLY let actualy health educators (with the right degree-not nuring) work in their health education department.

As far as consulting, I am not sure how to get into that field. I have only been in my field for two years. I would though, like I mentioned, check out the local health departments for jobs. Most will pay more than 30k and even more than 35k depending on experience!

Good luck!!

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TUAngel in Great Mills, Maryland

59 months ago

I just recently graduated with my Bachelors in Health Science with a Concentration in Community Health, every single time I try searching for a job online "nursing" jobs always pop up....I think people still don't understand what my major really is...Anyone hiring in Maryland?! Give me a shout! :)

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Dee Dee in Little Rock, Arkansas

59 months ago

Hey I read your comment and it is so sad to say. I commented on the phenomenon months about a ago and some replies and I believe one from a nurse. I feel your pain. I brought this issue up at the National SOPHE (Spociety of Public Helath Educators)conference in San Diego in October 2008. A lot of my colleagues came up to me after it was over and agreed and the consensus of the panel of experts during the breakout session was that professional organizations and others need to do a better job of promoting our profession. I am so sick and tired of being sick and tired (yes I said it twice) of being overlooked by nurses (clinicians) for a health educator jobs-(last I checked they are two different diciplines)..always have been and always with be. My suggestions are to really study what they (employers are seeking), know there hx, or learn a little about there hx.-are there budget constraints within the org? Because the bottom line is, many nurses are getting out of their field for many reasons-overworked, etc, but still want a subtantial-or competitive pay that they had in their field of nursing. Their pay is probably higher than a health educator's pay. (Not that we don't deserve a good salary as well). In an interview-that could be a plug for you that they are getting a great deal. 2) Focus your resume/coverletter on population based accomplishments-and connecting with people in group education.(Nurses and clinicians are not population based-health educators are. They are triage, do some prevention-not much- and are often case by case based. Health education-population based. So when we are dealing with the masses-particulary in this time of the H1N1, an other communicable diseases this is very important. As you can tell I am passionate about this. I have been considering the next SOPHE conference and hope to attend, if not be a part of the their guest to present on this very topic in the near future. Hopes this helps a little if not a lot.

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dboyz0123 in Youngstown, Ohio

57 months ago

what can you really do as a CHES? Can you do phamaceuticals or work with special needs kids? I mean is the pay only 35k? I am talking about a B.S in Public health and being a CHES....

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dboyz0123 in Youngstown, Ohio

57 months ago

amber in Houston, Texas said: I mean good luck with your CHES exam.

DO you think CHES can make a difference? I haven't seen any jobs out there.

Do you know how the pay is with a CHES? Also did you find employment. I am a junior at college, have science classes but can't pick a major for technical classes. I don't wanna be a nurse. Trully maybe special needs kids or some teaching or pharmaceuticals? There is a B.S program in public health that qualifies for ches exam. It teaches community health/public, sciences, and some bioterrorism(just 2 classes ).
Idk if nursing wouldbe good, but I don't want to do nursing, it just may serve better as a degree to do other things.

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q'curioso in Scarsdale, New York

53 months ago

I am looking at the Master in public health -(Community Health Education.) For those who have commented earlier, should I reconsider in another specialization of Public Health?

I do not have B.S in nursing. I have B.S in Business Management.

Believe me ,an honest answer will just help me think twice before I make a full and firm committment.

Is it possible that it is just a geographical sector of the country that is being affected. I am not a subject matter expert ; it is why I ask.

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dboyz0123 in Youngstown, Ohio

53 months ago

Really why don't you go for Heath care administration? You already have a business backround, I have some science. For a lot of HCA programs they don't care about the science part. Yeah it's true, ppl with their associates in allied health , like nursing, and such have an advantage with a community health, Human resource, or HCA degree to go along. However, if you have a businees education already, you might want to ask around about health care administration, if you gave that a thought. Not gunna lie from what I read it's stresful and the turn over rate usually sees ten years. However, you are not limited to an administrator, you could be an asst. maybe a director of a program, get ur teaching cert with a M.S or MBA in HCA and teach....many doors if your willing to take that small extra step, check around.

Far as in regards to your community health, I am assuming your talking about a CHES cert as well. Really, if you have what it takes, a degree, maybe a G.P.A, then you can prob. get your masters....which yes most jobs want. You ae right though, if you check out job listings is seems some are wanting nurses with B.S.N plus a masters in community health, with a CHES. Some just want a B.S.N with experience in supervision, maybe a former director of nursing? IDK. So, yes just getting your M.S in community health IMO in iffy, but maybe rewarding. If anything else, just have in mind to get a teaching cert after your degree to maybe teach instead, then work your way. I know communti health you learn bio, weapons of mass destruction, or mass casualty ...excuse my spelling( if I misspell ) i'm tired..haha. Also, pathological to infectious disease, sometimes with another option. Pharmacology would be another. It's like a little criminal justice, with sociological and mathematical logic in terms of biology and community health....That's just my take on some of what I've seen. I was interested in the field, then decided..no.

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txnurstud in Desoto, Texas

52 months ago

q'curioso in Scarsdale, New York said: I am looking at the Master in public health -(Community Health Education.) For those who have commented earlier, should I reconsider in another specialization of Public Health?

I do not have B.S in nursing. I have B.S in Business Management.

Believe me ,an honest answer will just help me think twice before I make a full and firm committment.

Is it possible that it is just a geographical sector of the country that is being affected. I am not a subject matter expert ; it is why I ask.

Hello,

I am in the same boat...BBA in Management and seeking to become a women's health educator. I was going to go the nursing route just to get the exposure in women's health than get a master of health studies to learn how to become an educator for community development, worksite (hospital) and institution. I am now considering going through a basic MA program or LVN program just to get the exposure than start the Master of Health Studies degree.

After reading these posts, although some of them are dated 2 years ago, it makes me think I probably should go with my plan A...meaning go ahead and get the BSN then get a Master of Health Studies. Most of my nursing friends, feel that going this route will be the long route to become a women's health educator. Just to give a brief background of me, I've been in HR for the last 13 years and ready for a true career change...been working in the healthcare industry for the last 4 years.

Any advice anyone can share would be GREAT since you all have a wealth of experience in health education. :-)

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dboyz0123 in Youngstown, Ohio

52 months ago

txnurstud in Desoto, Texas said: Hello,

After reading these posts, although some of them are dated 2 years ago, it makes me think I probably should go with my plan A...meaning go ahead and get the BSN then get a Master of Health Studies. Most of my nursing friends, feel that going this route will be the long route to become a women's health educator. Just to give a brief background of me, I've been in HR for the last 13 years and ready for a true career change...been working in the healthcare industry for the last 4 years.

Any advice anyone can share would be GREAT since you all have a wealth of experience in health education. :-)

I would just read what I wrote above....cpl posts up. I would get a nursing associates( instant job security ), then pursue a degree in management, B.A, B.S ..w/e...Then go masters. N each will feel like an accomplishment. However, that is if you don't feel like being a nurse....that's why I said associates in nursing, it's quicker. However, if you feel like being a nurse, I'd say B.S.N.....Heck some of them alone get admin. duties, especially since doctors are retiring now, nurses will have a shot at an expanded role. A B.S.N is considered better in regards to management than just a nurses degrees( A.D.N or A.S.N...same thing ). A b.s.n helps for say becoming a director of nursing. Add a masters in management or health studies....haha. You definately would have the experience, through clincials, the knowledge, and degrees. If u want nothing to do w/nursing read prev. post.

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dboyz0123 in Youngstown, Ohio

52 months ago

IMO, I'd go B.S.N.....then get your degree in Health studies or administration. However, there are other routes. I say B.s.n cause it's a bachelor's and gets u into grad school. However, I woulda went for instant gradification...lol.....A.D.N, then B.S in HCA, then Masters in health. However, it depends on the programs. For example, some schools will take the full Associates in nursing in credits. However, if your going for ur B.S.N I think some schools won't give you full credit for your nursing associates degree, N in that way ur taking a step back, by having to take more credits....see where I am going with this? Do remember, life can change and just focusing on masters may never happen, a good back up plan is good with grad degrees. So make sure, even if not nursing, you look at your grad degree as something IMO.

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dboyz0123 in Youngstown, Ohio

52 months ago

[QUOTE a good back up plan is good with grad degrees. So make sure, even if not nursing, you look at your grad degree as something IMO.

Cont....Look at a good grad while eyeing the masters degree. So there are many routes, nursing and not nursing. If you like nursing as stated, It's a good grad. I would do that, a B.S.N if i was giving advice and based on doctors retiring,....came from a yahoo article/publication( the docs retiring part ). However, again I would go a.d.n if I was startin new, hit an HCA degree, management,ect..., then masters in health. There's an HCA program in my area that will take an A.D.N and give full credits though.....see so it depends. Plus in my twenties ...lol...I go for instant gratification..lol. However, if giving advise B.S.N, if not nursing, other routes, but make sure your grad. degree is something u might like.

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txnurstud in Desoto, Texas

52 months ago

dboyz0123 in Youngstown, Ohio said: [QUOTE a good back up plan is good with grad degrees. So make sure, even if not nursing, you look at your grad degree as something IMO.

Cont....Look at a good grad while eyeing the masters degree. So there are many routes, nursing and not nursing. If you like nursing as stated, It's a good grad. I would do that, a B.S.N if i was giving advice and based on doctors retiring,....came from a yahoo article/publication( the docs retiring part ). However, again I would go a.d.n if I was startin new, hit an HCA degree, management,ect..., then masters in health. There's an HCA program in my area that will take an A.D.N and give full credits though.....see so it depends. Plus in my twenties ...lol...I go for instant gratification..lol. However, if giving advise B.S.N, if not nursing, other routes, but make sure your grad. degree is something u might like.

Hi dboyz0123,
I truly appreciate your advice...there are SOOO many accelerate BSN programs these days that I can get a BSN in 12-16 months due to me already having a BBA. So I will most likely go that route, cuz if you look at open positions for health educator as most have state BSN or RN (as been mentioned throughout this blog). So I am going that route and since I already work for a hospital that has a partnership with a university where we can take the BSN courses online and conduct clinicals on weekends at the hospital (its a SWEET set up).

Thanks again for all your advice!

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Dee Dee in Little Rock, Arkansas

52 months ago

Hello-I am pretty sure I am one of the original folks that posted this concern/dilemma two years ago. I can not say that I agree with your nursing friends for the simple fact that in many cases you won't get a second look unless you are have an RN, LVN, etc. behind your name. If you do-you are second choice in may cases. The reality is that in many cases HMOs, hospitals, clinics, etc. are looking to get what they think is the "bang for their buck". I wonder if any of them (your nursing friends)have ever been in one of our shoes?- a professionally trained/academically and otherwise health educator WITHOUT the nursing degree. Until they have-I will proceed with caution about their advice-no pun intended. Just speaking from experience. I have been in community health education/Public Health for 20 years-no BSN, RN. Sill deal with RN wanted fo OUR jobs DOT. Period.

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Sherah in Peoria, Illinois

52 months ago

Hello all!

I realize there are jobs out there labeled "health educator" that want a BSN or RN, but a lot of jobs in health education also want a B.S. in Community Health and a CHES designation. I have both of these and I have found many jobs around the United States to have these requirments. More places realize that a nursing degree doesn't cut it with community health/health education. I am also in the process of getting my MPH in which there are many openings available if you are open to relocating. If you want to get a nursing degree, that is a good option, however, not always neededs.

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dboyz0123 in Youngstown, Ohio

52 months ago

To serah in peoria, I was headin down the same route as you.....Then was turned off n went science HCA then prob...also, note with a science degree. However, I will continue my education after that. I CHES alone won't do it....in most cases, unless ur gunna get your masters. Also ppl think about become assistant directors, then when a need is open director. Use your degree as multi-purpose. Even some pharm companies may want you if you have great communication skills and show confidence. So, I would def. go masters, and do an internship. I know alot of universities offer a research course that you can be a part of and it will give you 6-8 credits alone for just being involved in that. So, I agree with you there are other routes, but I think if a person has an ambition for nursing or won't mind the degree, that is the safest bet. I think you are on the alternative right track. It really depends on what you want to do or responsibilities you want.

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dboyz0123 in Youngstown, Ohio

52 months ago

N boy was my spelling a little off there..lol. I was saying my route, is science degree, then Health care administration...then continuing my education. I was looking at community or public health for a science, but was turned away by it. I think nursing was the strongest....unless you wanted to go CHES B.S.A.S then MPH. Again, it's all what you want.

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Sherah in Peoria, Illinois

52 months ago

dboyz,
I agree with you. It's really all about what you want, and what your main goals are. Nursing def. has a lot more job openings/possibilities, but as the years go on, health education is getting up there, esp. with the government taking more of an interest in prevention instead of treatment.

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ladykhatie@yahoo.com in Russellville, Arkansas

51 months ago

This is Khadijah aka Dee Dee-again. I started the blog about two years ago. I am a trained health educator with over 20 years experience now. I have a BS in Health Science and MPH in Community Health Education. At this point I agree with most that is being said from my fellow HEDs and others on this forum. I think a lot of your academic choices depends on geographics-what is the trend of hiring professionals like us in your area?,- the time factor-is there time/hell-patience and resources for your take another route?, to name a few. I did not get the CHES as I had already been in the field for 8 years before I received my MPH. At that time MPH was the"It Girl"-Now it seems like she is the "Has Been". I still believe in Public Health Education until I die, but I believe strongly in the nursing route as a way for us to ensure our place on the map even if we have to take another route to our land of opportunity. The Associate degree route or BSN if you have the time seems doable for me anyway. Particularly where I am located "our" jobs are going to nurses. Very unfortunate and disappointing. At this point I encourage all to do your research extensively and get involved with National Organizations that are charged with advancing the field of Public Health Education such as SOPHE-Society of Public Health Educators--(National and Local ones in your area). After all it is their responsibility of doing a better job of promoting our career expertise-I mentioned this in the Town Hall meeting-two years ago oin San Diego. CA as a concern when I got a chance to speak, and let's just say we only scratched the surface about this problem. I see the problem still exist. Sorry Dorothy Nyswander-Bummer. Khaidjah-Little Rock, AR

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Katherine Clevenger-Burdell in Scottsdale, Arizona

51 months ago

Host said: Are jobs in this industry on the rise? Are there any sub-sectors that are growing?

Where are the jobs? Which places have the most health educator opportunities?

I was employed at a County Health System in Health Education. I stayed in the system for 18 years with lots of other titles, Program Manager, and Compliance Analyst related to Medicare and Medicaid regulations.

I also have a Social Work background, but the M.A. in Health Education. I live in AZ and there are so few jobs that the CHES certification is irrelevant in this state. Health Education at one point did exist in the Secondary School System, but it got so tangled in the "Sex Ed fight" that it became non-existant.

I am retired, but perhaps "The National Health Care Reform" as it becomes implemented may improve conditions for operations within the "The Prevention Sector"

Good Luck to all.

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rose in Upland, California

49 months ago

hi guys. I desperatly need your help. I'm so glad i found this forum. so, this is my story (as short as possible). I'm 24 and i just graduated with a BA in ethnic studies. I got so burnt out i took time off for two years, came back and graduated. I burnt out because i started my college year as a pre-med student and i hated it, but did it for the first two years. At that point, i didn't care what my family thought i should do, i switched to ethinic studies because it was interesting. Even though i chose ethnic studies, i honestly didn't know what to do. I was so lost, couldn't sleep, etc... on my fourth year, i just had one french class left, and just couldn't do it. I just left and went straight to work, any work i could find... which was wal-mart, target, etc... This january i went back, finished the french class and graduated this june.
So here i am, not sleeping again, frustrated because even today i'm lost. My mother is looking at me like "ok, come on, what's next" Through all this, i have discovered that i love talking and learning new things always. I love to analyze, etc... but realized i didn't like science/math. I heard about public health educator and i liked that it had an "educator" in it. I love women's health issues and love educating. So i was set on that but now i'm nervous. U ladies seem to say that masters in public health on its own is not worth much these days and nursing would be a good option. I don't like nursing. I'm just lost. please, if anyone has ideas as to what i can do if i love to learn/educate but one that has job security. I know teaching sounds like me but these days that doesn't even have job security. Please, i don't have friends nor "networks" so if anyone of u can help, please. Sorry for this being long, i just wanted to get my story out. Thanks again

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Katherine Clevenger-Burdell in Scottsdale, Arizona

49 months ago

I am retired, but observe that Health Education speciality is a difficult one for the following reasons:

1 School districts want to pair Health Ed (if it exists with P.E. or other subjects) so that health ed is the secondary choice of a field,.

2 Health Care in general wants a nurse to do health education because it is paired with "Clinical" education such as what one needs to do realted to other "clinical care" for a particular disease state--very little focus on prevention until a disease state is I.D. such as diabetes or "heart disease"

3. I live in AZ and this state has never encouraged nor recognized the competencies of the CHES certification and is not required by those teaching health in schools.

4. You may wish to pair health ed with other areas such as counseling, personal/professional/career coaching etc.

This is one health educator's thoughts--Good Luck

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rose in Rancho Cucamonga, California

49 months ago

thank you katherine. I appreciate your advice. It does seem like a good idea to pair that with something else. DO you know anything about Social work and public health and if i can go into counseling with that? I see that some schools offer a dual Masters in social work and public health? What do you think? thanks again

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Katherine Clevenger-Burdell in Scottsdale, Arizona

49 months ago

Social work degrees M.S.W. with internship in a mental health and or counseling agency and then getting certified as a counselor will allow you to act as a independent counseling person and you could start your own practice. It really does give you a good deal more flexibility in jobs and career goals. Masters in Public Health is much more limiting except in the Public Health system which is always lacking in funding.

Good Luck.

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